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Mechanical flow meter Vs Digital flow meter | Difference between Mechanical flow meter and Digital flow meter

This page compares mechanical flow meter vs digital flow meter and mentions difference between mechanical flow meter and digital flow meter.

Mechanical Flow meter

mechanical flow meter

• One of the example of mechanical flow meter is Variable Area Flow Meter. This is shown in the figure-1. It is called rotameter. It has float which moves up or down in tapered tube. The distance float moves is proportional to the fluid flow rate which is annular area between the float and the tube well.
• It uses closed glass tube and non-electric means for scale or display for the measurement.
• It uses volumetric flow rate of liquid.
• Mechanical flow meter such as rotameter uses force of fluid and gravity in order to measure flow rate. Hence external power is not required.
• It is simple and cheaper.
• It is used where precise flow measurement is not needed.
• Some of the liquids can make reading obscure due to their color.

Digital Flow meter

Digital Flow Meters

• It uses digital display for the measurement.
• The figure-2 displays popular digital flow meters.
• It reads the flow rate data and translates it to appropriate format.
• It has improvement in accuracy at the cost of complex structure.
• Digital flow meter relies less on pressure/temperature of the fluid. Hence external power is required for its operation.

Difference between mechanical flow meter and digital flow meter

Following table summarize difference between mechanical flow meter and digital flow meter.

Specifications mechanical flow meter digital flow meter
Reliability Less More
Accuracy or precision Less More
Cost Lower Higher
Construction It uses mechanical means for its operation. It uses electrical means for its operation.
External power requirement No Yes
Display type analog digital
User friendliness It is difficult to read the reading. It is easy to read the reading as it is numerical.


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